The former Chairman of Advertising Practitioner Council of Nigeria (APCON), Lolu Akinwunmi, has expressed displeasure over the duplication of regulatory duties in the Integrated Marketing Communications Industry in Nigeria,
calling on the Federal Government to adopt APCON as the sole regulator in the industry.
Akinwunmi who made this known recently during a workshop for information officials in the public service challenged the Federal Government to begin a far-reaching reform of the communication architecture in Nigeria, with a view to focusing on effective communication strategies.
According to him, “right now we have too many regulators. I propose that APCON be seen, recognised and adopted as the sole regulatory body for the marketing communications industry and profession, and the one to represent the government on issues of public communication.”
He believes APCON solely possess all the components of the IMC industry, including the creative agencies, media specialists, media owners such as OAAN, experiential management owners, corporate clients under ADVAN etc.
He added that everything and everyone the government requires is already represented within APCON and that whatever was not there can be incorporated by cooperation.
“This government can adopt APCON and work with it, pretty much what the British government did with its Central Office of Information (COI), the UK government’s marketing and communications agency.
It reported to the Minister for the Cabinet Office. It worked with Whitehall departments and public bodies to produce public communication campaigns on issues that affected the lives of British citizens, from health and education to benefits, rights and welfare,” he said.
He also suggested that APCON be made independent of government influences because it has the capacity to self-sustain as a result of the opportunities for internally generated revenue in the system.
In order to effectively drive this change, he called for the restructuring of the Ministry of Information and Culture through the merger of the ministry with the current Ministry of Communications to form the Ministry of Public Communication.
“The combined power and influence of the Information and the Communication Ministries will create a more effective public communication vehicle.
“It offers such amazing exciting possibilities and the good news is that we are not re-inventing the wheel; the infrastructure already exists, and under government management via the Ministry of Communications.
This can also be extended to service providers like the DSTv and others like it”, he explained.